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Baileys Irish Cream Cupcakes

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Baileys Irish Cream Cupcakes

These amazing cupcakes are made with Baileys Irish cream and topped with a Baileys buttercream frosting.  They are incredibly good–and the way I came across this recipe is quite the story!

Have you watched the TV show that’s out right now called The American Baking Competition?  The one with all of the challenges each week– breads, cakes, pies…?  I love it.  Aaaaand…I auditioned for it last fall.  I’m actually not one of those “I wanna be on TV” people, but I am one of those “that sounds like a crazy fun adventure, let’s do it!” people.  In 2002, my coworkers dared me to audition for The Weakest Link game show and they picked me– I’d never actually seen the show which made things a little awkward at first…lol!  So auditioning for a cooking show?  Why not??

I know you are dying to know how these cupcakes are made, so I will save my story-telling for later, but long story short– I met a ton of wonderful bakers at the audition and one of them was Lauren Shilt.  She brought these Baileys cupcakes to her audition and gave me an extra.  I fell in love with this cupcake!  It is so dense and moist and rich….so I begged for the recipe and Lauren kindly obliged.

Baileys Irish Cream Cupcakes
Here you have it… Baileys Cupcakes: (printer friendly recipe)

INGREDIENTS: (makes 30-36 cupcakes)


  • 2 1/2 cups cake flour
  • 3 teaspoons of baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon of salt
  • 1 teaspoon of cinnamon
  • 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar (use super fine sugar, if you can find it!)
  • 3/4 cups unsalted butter room temp.
  • 3 eggs room temp.
  • 3 teaspoons of vanilla
  • 1 cup Bailey’s Irish Cream (separated, 1/2 cup for the cakes, 1/2 cup to pour over the cakes after they have been baked)

Buttercream Frosting:

  • 2 sticks (1 cup) salted butter, room temp.
  • 2 sticks (1 cup) unsalted butter, room temp.
  • 3 cups of powdered sugar
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/4 to 1/2 cup Baileys Irish Cream-enough to get the frosting to the desired flavor and consistency.

For the Chocolate Ganache to drizzle over the top:

  • 1/2 cup of heavy cream
  • 1/4 cup of semi sweet chocolate chips (or if using a bar, chopped)
  • 3 tablespoons Baileys Irish Cream

(I used 1/4c. heavy cream and 1/2c. semi-sweet chips plus  3 teaspoons of Baileys for mine, and I made it at the end since it was thick enough to use as soon as it cooled a bit.  It’s just how I always do ganache and I needed to save time.)


Make the Ganache first (unless you use my recipe)

  • In a saucepan bring the cream to simmer over med heat
  • Remove from heat and whisk in chocolate until it is melted and incorporated
  • Whisk in the Baileys Irish Cream
  • Refrigerate until it has a good consistency to drizzle over the top


  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Line the muffin tins with 36 cupcake liners (my batch only made 30)
  • In a large bowl mix together the dry ingredients: flour, baking powder, salt, and cinnamon
  • In a large bowl, use a mixer to cream together the sugar and butter for about 3 minutes until light and fluffy.
  • Add eggs once at a time until incorporated and then mix in vanilla.
  • Add flour mixture in 3 additions, alternating with the Bailey’s Irish Cream, starting and ending with the flour mixture.
  • Fill cupcake liners about 2/3 full and bake for 17-20 min. (mine were slightly over-baked at 17 min, so check often!)
  • Cool in pan for a few minutes
  • Using a toothpick poke holes in the tops of the cupcakes and using a pastry brush, brush the additional 1/2 cup of baileys over the cupcakes.

Baileys Irish Cream Cupcakes!Baileys Irish Cream Cupcakes!
Baileys Buttercream Frosting:

  • Place butters, powdered sugar and cinnamon in a large bowl.
  • Beat on high until light and fluffy.
  • Add Baileys Irish Cream a bit at a time until buttercream is desired flavor and consistency.
  • Frost cooled cupcakes using a pastry bag, then drizzle with Bailey’s Ganache.

Baileys Irish Cream Cupcakes!!
My thoughts:  You are simply going to love these cupcakes.  I’ve had 4 people (so far!) tell me that these are their favorite cupcake I’ve ever made.  They are SO good!!!!!  Plus, (be very proud of me!) they are not a cake mix!  

Ok.  Story time.

So crazy, adventure-seeking me sent in my application for this “baking show” on CBS.  I was invited to come to Chicago to do an in-person audition for the show.  I needed to bring my “signature” baked good.  Signature?  How to choose from all my favorites?  I decided on Salted Caramel Cookie Cups, because everyone loves them, they are easy to travel with and they are signature (in that they use lots of pre-made ingredients), making them EASYbaked 🙂  My motto.

A few days before the audition I got a call from CBS confirming my audition time and making sure I would be bringing everything I needed. This very nice man said–“now, be sure you plate your baked good”.  I was like… “um…ok.  I will make sure I put it on a plate.”  Long pause.  “No, you need to plate it.”  “Yes,” I replied, “I will put it on a plate.”   “You need to plate it- you know, make it look all fancy for the judges?”

Sigh.  My 1st clue this isn’t going to go well.  I hang up and google “how to plate a dessert”.  Then I go to the store to buy little bottles with tips….and I practice “plating” my little desserts.

Plating a dessert

Laura and I pack up all my supplies and off we go to a very rainy and cold Chicago.

Laura and ICold Chicago...Starbucks :o)

When I arrived and checked in I was seated in a room FULL of people carrying baked goods in all sorts of containers.  I love meeting new people and within no time I had met all of the people sitting around me.  It was SO much fun!  A whole room full of people comparing ganache recipes and favorite frosting ideas.  AMAZING!  About 5 of us chatted while we waited to get called back and we all ended up getting called back together.  We had to “plate” our items for the judges (thank goodness I got all of that sorted out ahead of time!) and they tasted our items and asked us questions.  Lauren and I made it to the second round and we spent our waiting time really getting to know each other and exchanging our extra desserts with the bakers around us.

New Baking Friends!!!

New Baking Friends!!!

The second interview was questions, asked in a group setting.  Not too intimidating…  The casting person (who, apparently was also a trained culinary person) asked me how I made my wonderful caramel filling.  I explained that I use Kraft caramels, sweetened condensed milk and butter to make it.

There were audible gasps.

Everyone was staring at me.

What had I said wrong?

The interviewer said- you mean you didn’t make this from scratch?


Why would you bring this as your signature baked good if it isn’t from scratch?

Because my baking is rarely from scratch.  Why slave over homemade caramel if you can just use caramels to make a filling?

But it’s not homemade….

Well, you loved it and sent me to the next round of interviews…?

I didn’t tell her that the crust was made of refrigerator cookie dough…  yikes.

The next baker was a woman who literally forages in the woods for all of her ingredients.  Literally.  Forages.

I wanted to jump in and say that I foraged at WalMart on Black Friday for my ingredients…nearly died…got them cheap….?

I was fairly certain I was “out” of the running.  Until I was handed a paper that said:

Baileys cupcakesWhat?!?!  This involved staying an extra day in Chicago (thank you dear, patient Laura!), panicking over the fact that I only brought a Green Bay Packer Jersey to wear home the next day…(can you interview on camera for a baking show dressed like a football player?), waiting for 2 hours, falling asleep in a hotel lobby and defending my use of Kraft caramels on camera for Hollywood to see.

Sleeping while we wait...

Needless to say, I wasn’t called and invited to be a contestant on the show.  Have you watched it?  I would have gone down in flames the 1st week.  These people are amazing!  Francine is my favorite~  she uses crazy creative ingredients like bacon and red-hot candies in her recipes (anyone who bakes with candy is my hero!)  Hope she wins!

After my long day of interviewing, Laura and I settled in at our hotel and pigged out on all the treats I exchanged with other bakers during the day.  This was when I first tasted Lauren’s cupcakes…oh. my.

A collection of amazing baked goods!

A collection of amazing baked goods!

A big BIG thanks to Lauren for sharing her recipe with us!  If you’d like to get to know her and see some of her incredible baking creations, she is on facebook.  Visit her page and give it a “like” by clicking here.



I usually stick to sharing recipes in my posts, but this story was just too fun.  Thanks for listening– now go and make these cupcakes— you will love them— I promise!!!  ~r

Baileys Cupcakes!!

Other “from scratch” recipes on Easybaked…yes, there are a few!!!!

Butter beer cupcakesMint Creme Brownie CupsGingerbread Cookies!Cinnamon Roll Cheesecake!!


About Ruthanne

Ruthanne is a scientist with a passion for baking and food photography. Using her kitchen as a lab, she loves experimenting with a variety of flavors and ingredients to create unique, fun and ultimately tasty delights! Thus she created EasyBaked, a website where sugar and chocolate overflow in fun and easy recipes. Her Motto: Money can’t buy happiness -- but it can buy marshmallows, and that’s nearly the same thing!

72 responses »

  1. Sweet! Your desserts are incredible, but what I love most is your humility & the kudos you give to all those in your circle of life!

    • That is such a sweet thing to say Dawn– thank you {hug}!! It was definitely a very humbling (and fun!) experience to meet so many incredible bakers!!

  2. I loved your story and your cupcakes, I applaud your honesty and the fact that you made it to a second interview. Good for you, your baked goods are approachable, delicious and the recipes are so well written. Their loss for not putting you through, I am sure there were amazing bakers there so the competition was tough, IMHO you did great.

  3. Love this!!! Thanks so much, this is one of my favorite stories to tell 🙂

  4. Wow this story was wow, your honesty is incredible 😀
    And congrats on the second interview!
    Lovely post and recipe my friend!

    Choc Chip Uru

  5. These look great, I’ll have to make them for my sisters birthday this year, Bailey’s is the only alcohol she likes. I’m just getting ready to watch the Baking Competition I recorded this week…shhh don’t tell me who was sent home…lol

    • Haha!!! I’m so far behind on episodes of the show! I won’t be giving away spoilers! Baileys is really yummy and I, like your sister, don’t like very many alcohols- even in baking!

  6. I love that show! Thank you so much for sharing your experience of “behind the scenes” interviews. Reading this was just as enjoyable as the show! And thanks for sharing this recipe – it sounds really yummy

  7. Just discovered your blog, Ruthanne, and I was blown away by it! it is beautiful, just like you and your desserts. Can’t wait to try all the recipes, starting In the Beginning, of course.

  8. I love a good baileys cupcake and these look amazing! 😀

  9. I love Baileys and these cupcakes must be delicious. I make my cheesecake with Baileys and it just adds some special flavor 🙂

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  11. hello, can you substitute margarine for butter in this recipe?
    thank you

    • I’m not sure how that would work in the cupcakes- it might be ok, but in the buttercream frosting it needs to be butter, not margarine. Have fun baking! !!!

  12. Wonderful story! I am going to enter these cupcakes in my local bake-off; wish me luck! (I won twice for my Bailey’s Irish Cream Cheesecake 🙂

  13. this cupcake looks amazing! my friend and I have decided to try this over thanksgiving break, can’t wait to see how it turns out 😀

  14. I really like the Irish cream buttercream…OMG it may be my new favorite frosting. The cakes were flavorful and the ganache was easy, I think these would be great in the miniature version since they are very rich.

    • Oh thats a really good idea- these would be really yummy in mini cupcakes…! Glad you enjoyed them 🙂

      • I want to make these for our St. Patrick’s day party, but I would like to make mini ones. How would you adjust the baking time?

        • Baking time is always less for minis. I’ve never made these small, but when I make minis I typically try to start checking them after about 10-12 minutes. Good luck! They will be really fun in mini form!!:0)

  15. Pingback: Baileys Irish Cream Cake | Adventures of Little Gluttons

  16. Hi, I tried converting cups to gram using a conversion tool I found online but the amount of sugar turned out to be more than the cake flour itself! And my baileys cake was too sweet. Would you mind sharing the recipe with the measurements in grams?

    • I’m sorry- I might be able to come back to this after the holidays and do that for you- but since I never use grams, I would just use a conversion tool exactly like you. Right now I’m in the middle if a job change, moving across the country and meeting a book deadline- I’m feeling good if I post a recipe once per week- lol! This recipe really is so yummy and not too sweet- so maybe your conversion tool was off? I always use one that’s very specific about the item being weighed- since a cup of granulated sugar and a cup of powdered sugar are different weights. Sorry I can’t be more help right now!!!!

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  20. Hi can you bake one and deliver please many thanks sue

  21. Hey there thank you SO SO SO much for this great recipe, I made them on St Patties day and they were a HUGE hit!

    I screwed up the baking time a bit on the first batch but luckily I still had time to make another batch since these really aren’t to hard to throw together and the second batch was PERFECT!!

    I loved them so much I even blogged about them on my own blog, you can check it out here and I thew in a couple very minor tweaks that made them turn out a little better for me.

    Painting the cream onto the cooling cakes though is GENIUS, it really helps the flavor come through! Thank you!

  22. I rarely leave comments but your story had me laughing out loud about your Kraft caramels. You have a knack for writing and by the looks of those cupcakes; baking. I’m going to bake those puppies up today!

    • Aw… well I’m so honored to be the recipient of one of your rare comments! It was a very entertaining day….lol! These really are yummy cupcakes- I hope you get to try them! Thanks so much for stopping by to say hi!!!

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  24. Hi I really loved this idea and I was wondering if you could make these cupcakes with the baileys Irish cream the one in the black bottle?? I’m trying to make this for new years if you could please get back to me asap please and thank you

    • Hi- I’m so sorry I didn’t get back with you in time. We lost my mom to cancer the day after Christmas this year and I’ve taken a month away from blogging, so I’m just back. You can use regular old Baileys Irish Cream in these- the bottles are a funny color in my pictures because I bought the mini bottles to save money since I don’t regularly use Baileys in other things. I hope you found a way to make these in spite of my slow reply to your question!!! ~r

  25. Thanks so much for sharing this fabulous recipe! Made them, loved them, posted them!!

  26. This may be a dumb question, or not. Are these alcoholic?! I’m thinking I prob can’t serve them to my 2 & 5-yr olds bc of the bailey’s in the frosting & brushed on them?

    • Yes, these are alcoholic if you add the Bailey’s to the frosting and brush it on the top. You can easily leave those two parts out and just bake it inside the cupcake if you are baking for little ones. Just add a little vanilla to the frosting instead.

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  30. These Baileys cupcakes sound amazing I will have to give them a try!

  31. I know you posted this forever ago but I’m looking for a good Bailey’s recipe and your story made me laugh out loud, because I was there! At that audition! On that very same rainy day! My friend and I trekked there super early in the morning and totally forgot about the time change from Michigan to Chicago. A girl in my second interview group talked for like 10 solid minutes about how everything she made was made of like sprouts and wheat grass and she wouldn’t compromise that for the show.

    Thank you for sharing this and making me laugh so much remembering!

    • And I am terribly late replying- somehow your comment got lost in the shuffle- but made me smile when it popped up this morning!!! Shared adventure… 🙂 Love your blog BTW!

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  34. I want to make these but I don’t trust myself so am going to do a tester run. Any ideas on a smaller scale for batch of 6/12. Divide recipe in 3?

    • I’ve not ever made a smaller batch- so I think dividing the recipe is your best bet. Or creating the full recipe and making a lot of friends and neighbors happy! 🙂

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  36. Looking for something for St Paddy’s and these look delish. My question, I need to use gluten free flour, and this says cake flour. Any chance they will turn out good?

    • Ah— you just never know, right? I’ve found that altering a recipe to make it gluten-free is a 50/50 shot. Give it a try, and let us know what happens! I bet there are other people wondering this same thing!! 🙂

  37. They were a hit at my English group for St. Patrick’s Day this evening. Thanks so much for sharing this delicious recipe!

  38. Stefanie Martin

    Ok! This is literally the best cupcake recipe I have ever used!!!

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  40. Can I cut this recipe in half? I don’t need 30 cupcakes. Thanks!!! They look lovely and perfect for girls night 😁

    • SO sorry it took me forever to reply to you- I took a two year break from blogging- but I’m back! And sure- you can cut it in half! The 3 eggs might pose a problem- I usually use 2 small eggs when I cut 3 eggs in half, and it has always worked for me. ENJOY!!

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